Published July 11, 2017
Kentucky has an unusually high rate of “kinship care” compared with other states. More than 60,000 children in Kentucky live with a grandparent or relative. Another 8,200 children live in foster care.
Experts blame the high number of “orphans” on the growing use and abuse of heroin. Heroin addictions and overdoses have reached epidemic levels in the state. Many prescription drug abusers turn to the cheaper alternative heroin when unable to obtain or afford addictive opioid prescriptions. In January, emergency crews responded to 695 heroin overdose cases in Louisville alone—an average of 22 calls a day.